State Forestry attacking 25-acre wildfire off Seward Highway south of Anchorage

July 17, Noon – The Alaska Division of Forestry is responding to a 25-acre wildfire in the McHugh Creek drainage south of Anchorage, about three-quarters of a mile off the Seward Highway.
The fire was reported to the Anchorage Fire Department at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night. AFD firefighters responded to the fire but due to the location of the fire and steep, hazardous terrain it was located in they were not able to engage the fire and notified the Alaska Division of Forestry.
DOF firefighters responded and hiked into the fire early this morning to get eyes on the fire but they were also not able to take action due to the steep, hazardous terrain. At that time the fire was estimated at 3-5 acres and was “skunking around.”

An Alaska Division of Forestry firefighter stands above a wildfire burning in the McHugh Creek drainage south of Anchorage off the Seward Highway at approximately 3 a.m. Sunday. Firefighters have not been able to reach the fire on foot yet due to steep terrain. Renette Saba/Alaska Division of Forestry

An Alaska Division of Forestry firefighter stands above a wildfire burning in the McHugh Creek drainage south of Anchorage off the Seward Highway at approximately 3 a.m. Sunday. Firefighters have not been able to reach the fire on foot yet due to steep terrain. Renette Saba/Alaska Division of Forestry

Two helicopters and an air tanker were brought in Sunday morning to drop water on the fire in an effort to keep it in check until firefighters on the ground can reach the fire. A seven-person squad was hiking into the fire and two initial attack crews – the Chena Interagency Hotshot Crew and a Type 2 initial attack crew from the U.S. Forest Service – have also been ordered to respond to the fire.
The fire is actively burning in beetle-killed spruce, much of which is dead and blown down, making access extremely difficult given the steep terrain.
The cause of the fire is not known at this time.

This aerial photo of a 25-acre wildfire burning in the McHugh Creek drainage south of Anchorage off the Seward Highway was taken at approximately 10:30 a.m. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

This aerial photo of a 25-acre wildfire burning in the McHugh Creek drainage south of Anchorage off the Seward Highway was taken at approximately 10:30 a.m. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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